SPYSHOTS: Volkswagen Arteon R testing at the 'Ring

The performance variant of the Volkswagen Arteon has been spotted running tests again, this time at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, along with its forthcoming high-performance stablemates the Tiguan R and the Golf R. Unlike the other two, the Arteon R will be powered by a new 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine that has been in development since 2017, giving the sleek four-door a peak output in the region of 400 hp.

This engine is to be mated with a Haldex all-wheel-drive system that will enable to driver to provoke the car into oversteer, said Volkswagen product line spokesperson Martin Hube at the time. This will also likely feature a DSG seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Externally, the Arteon R development vehicle here appears to be in a similar state of finish as the unit sighted running cold-weather tests in February, which has already been wearing minimal disguise save for a few strips of tape meant to conceal visual updates for the minor facelift of the mainstream Arteon range as well.

The Arteon R’s rear end appears similarly production-ready, the key identifier that sets the R apart from the mainstream range being the rear bumper that houses the quad exhaust outlets with a different diffuser sculpting. Here, the hot Arteon differs from present R models which feature rectangular units – somewhat recalling previous Mercedes-AMG models – instead of oval items on cars like the Golf R.

Further visual cues that identify this as the high-performance R model include the uprated disc brakes with blue painted calipers all around, while a bespoke chassis setup can also be expected for the Arteon to better harness its gains in engine outputs. The development car here wears turbine-style wheels as seen on the mainstream Arteon, though the R should have its own specific wheel and tyre combination.

With the car appearing to be just about complete, the Arteon R has so far been expected to debut in the middle of this year as a 2021 model. Further along within the Arteon range is a shooting brake version, which was last sighted running tests in March. Might there be an Arteon R shooting brake, or is it a niche too far?

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